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The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA) joins millions of people the world over in mourning the death of former President Nelson Mandela.  

‘We were truly blessed to have had someone of his calibre leading the country. Nelson Mandela’s example of humility, courage, love, integrity and fairness will stay with us forever,’ says Gerhard Papenfus, NEASA CEO. 

NEASA honours Madiba for playing a crucial role in not only ensuring a peaceful transition, but also contributing to the country’s economic stability and growth through a very daunting period in our history. Under his leadership economic growth climbed from less than 1,5% between 1980 and 1994 to slightly under 3% between 1995 and 2003.

'He helped to restore investor confidence following years of international sanctions against the apartheid regime. An estimated $20 billion was pulled out of companies doing business in South Africa, resulting in the collapse of the currency and soaring inflation. Mandela also played a significant role in ensuring that South Africa becomes an important source of economic opportunity for neighbouring countries,’ Papenfus said.

His presence was also felt on home soil as he focussed on poverty eradication and ensuring a better life for all. Basic services were rolled out to the most remote areas of the country, Madiba-houses sprouted up throughout the country and many living in adverse poverty received social grants. 

‘The Mandela administration was presented with a mammoth task to improve the lives of all South Africans.  Some may disagree on the success of his government in fulfilling this mandate. The most important thing to remember is that Madiba left us with a vision of a new and better life. He also provided us with the tools to accomplish this. Let us not disappoint him,’ says Papenfus.

For more information

Sya van der Walt-Potgieter

Media Liaison 

082 332 9512